OPERATIONAL REMOTE SENSING SERVICES IN NORTH EASTERN REGION OF INDIA FOR NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, EARLY WARNING FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION AND SERVICES
Keywords: Operational Remote Sensing, natural resources, disaster risk reduction, knowledge dissemination
Abstract. North Eastern Region (NER) of India comprising of eight states considered to be most unique and one of the most challenging regions to govern due to its unique physiographic condition, rich biodiversity, disaster prone and diverse socio-economic characteristics. Operational Remote Sensing services increased manifolds in the region with the establishment of North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) in the year 2000. Since inception, NESAC has been providing remote sensing services in generating inventory, planning and developmental activities, and management of natural resources, disasters and dissemination of information and services through geo-web services for NER. The operational remote sensing services provided by NESAC can be broadly divided into three categories viz. natural resource planning and developmental services, disaster risk reduction and early warning services and information dissemination through geo-portal services.
As a apart of natural resources planning and developmental services NESAC supports the state forest departments in preparing the forest working plans by providing geospatial inputs covering entire NER, identifying the suitable culturable wastelands for cultivation of silkworm food plants, mapping of natural resources such as land use/land cover, wastelands, land degradation etc. on temporal basis.
In the area of disaster risk reduction, NESAC has initiated operational services for early warning and post disaster assessment inputs for flood early warning system (FLEWS) using satellite remote sensing, numerical weather prediction, hydrological modeling etc.; forest fire alert system with actionable attribute information; Japanese Encephalitis Early Warning System (JEWS) based on mosquito vector abundance, pig population and historical disease intensity and agriculture drought monitoring for the region.
The large volumes of geo-spatial databases generated as part of operational services are made available to the administrators and local government bodies for better management, preparing prospective planning, and sustainable use of available resources. The knowledge dissemination is being done through online web portals wherever the internet access is available and as well as offline space based information kiosks, where the internet access is not available or having limited bandwidth availability.
This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive study on the remote sensing services operational in NER of India for natural resources management, disaster risk reduction and dissemination of information and services, in addition to outlining future areas and direction of space applications for the region.